After heading out to watch the Colonials practice before the season begins, Pittsburgh Sports Now kicks off The Complete Preview of Pittsburgh Basketball with this look into Robert Morris’ season.
Head Coach: Andy Toole
Toole enters his 12th season as head coach of the Colonials, coming into the 2021-22 season with a 192-169 record.
Last Year’s Record: 4-15 (3-12 Horizon League)
Mike Iuzzolino was promoted from Assistant Coach to Associate Head Coach.
Last Year’s Losses
AJ Bramah – Nevada
Bramah, RMU’s leading scorer from last year, left the team with a few games left last year and soon after entered the transfer portal. There, he committed to Arizona State, before de-committing and ultimately choosing to play for Nevada.
Jon Williams – Professional Basketball
In April, Williams signed with agent Jan Wieland of Blacktop Management to pursue professional basketball opportunities. However, Williams is not on a roster at the moment.
Dante Treacy – UNC Greensboro
Treacy entered the transfer portal in March and chose to take his talents to Radford shortly after in April. However, after a coaching change at Radford, one month later Treacy committed to UNC-Greensboro.
Cameron Wilbon – Sacramento State
Wilbon entered the transfer portal in early March after three seasons with RMU. He committed to Sacramento State where he will compete in the Big Sky conference.
Pat Suemnick – Triton College/West Virginia
Suemnick left RMU for Triton College to play at the junior college level this season. However, after this year, he will be taking his talents to Morgantown as he recently committed to West Virginia.
Olisa Ngonadi – Georgian Court University (Division II)
Ngonadi entered the portal in April, later committing to Georgian Court University, a division two program in New Jersey.
Terrell Brown – Brandeis University (Division III)
Brown entered the transfer portal this offseason and later committed to Brandeis University, a division III school in Massachusetts, where he will play this season.
Trayden Williams – Transfer Portal
Williams, who played one season at RMU, entered the transfer portal on April 13. However, there has been no news of Williams finding a new program.
Jakari Spence – Transfer Portal
After not playing in any games for the Colonials, Spence decided to hit the portal this offseason. Spence is not listed on any rosters heading into the 2021-22 season.
Charles Bain – Graduated
Bain graduated from RMU last spring and appears to have called it quits on his basketball career.
Leading Scorers Returning
Spear returns for his senior season after averaging 9.9 points and 5.2 rebounds per game last year. A 6-foot-7 forward, Spear shot a second-best 55% from the field last season and pulled down the second-most rebounds on the team with 94. After two pre-season scrimmages, Spear has looked like a consistent force for the Colonials and gives them a toughness and a chip against other teams inside and on the wing.
Farris returns to RMU after averaging 8.3 points per game last season. He shot 48% from the field as well as a team-high 46% from three-point range. Toole is excited about Farris’ consistency and says he is as sharp of an outside shooter as he has ever been.
Michael Green III – Transfer from Bryant
Green, a 5-foot-11 point guard, started all 21 games for Bryant last year, averaging 16 points and 3.7 assists per game. Those numbers were good enough to earn him All-NEC Second Team honors. Green committed to RMU back in April and has three years of eligibility left with the Colonials. Green will most likely start at the point for RMU, as he is a great leader with a fantastic track record at his previous school. Green is a floor general and a pest on the defensive end and should provide Toole with solid point guard play.
Rasheem Dunn – Transfer from St. Johns
Dunn is a 6-foot-2 guard out of Brooklyn, New York, who brings over 1,400 career division one points to RMU. This year will be Dunn’s sixth on a division one roster, after spending time at St. Francis Brooklyn, Cleveland State, and St. Johns prior to the Colonials. As a graduate student at St. Johns last year, Dunn started 17 of 22 games that he appeared in, averaging 9.4 points and four assists per game. While he is not the strongest three-point shooter, Dunn will look to put the ball in the basket like he has always done via the mid-range and driving.
Mattia Acunzo – Transfer from Toledo
A native of Italy, Acunzo is a 6-foot-8, 225-pound big man who spent the last two seasons at Toledo. Last season, he came off the bench in all 30 games, averaging 5.9 points and 3.5 rebounds a game. Acunzo has fantastic touch on his jump shot, as he shot 53% from the field, 41% from the three-point line, and 76% from the free-throw line last season with Toledo. With three seasons of eligibility remaining, look for Acunzo to play a big role inside for the Colonials over the next few years. He stood out in practice as the loudest on the team, communicating on both sides of the ball. In terms of his game, he shot the ball well from outside and defended the other bigs effectively throughout.
Jaron Williams – Transfer from UT Martin
Williams is a 6-foot-6, 210-pound forward who started 22 of 24 games for UT Martin last season. After two seasons of playing junior college ball, Williams spent his junior year with the Skyhawks where he averaged the second-most points on the team last season with 10.3 per game. Williams will have two seasons of eligibility left with RMU. Played confident with a chip on his shoulder in practice and has great touch around the rim.
Tristian Jeffries – High school recruit
Jeffries, a 6-foot-6 guard, is the only true freshman on the Colonials roster. Jeffries averaged more than 13 points and 6.5 rebounds in his 2019-20 season playing for St. Thomas Aquinas. The freshman looked physically ready for the college level, but doesn’t seem to be a huge part of the rotation this year. He will have a chance to work his way up, as he provides physical attributes and strength as a freshman.
Matt Mayers – Junior College recruit
Mayers is a 6-foot-8, 210-pound junior forward who began his college career with two years at Hutchinson Community College. Mayers averaged 17.8 points and 9.4 rebounds per game last season, earning him a spot as the NJCAA Division I All-American First Team. Mayers looked as if he has made a smooth transition to the DI level while in practice, posting up and creating buckets for himself on hook shots, put-backs, and open lay-ins.
Brandon Stone – Transfer from La Salle
Stone is a 6-foot-11, 200-pound forward who transferred from La Salle to RMU last spring, spending the spring semester practicing with the Colonials. Stone is a WPIAL product, as he played his first two seasons of high school ball at Southmoreland before moving on to Christ School in North Carolina. Stone is currently rehabbing an ankle injury that will keep him sidelined indefinitely.
Ferron Flavors Jr. – Transfer from Oklahoma State
Flavors comes to RMU after spending time with four different programs at the college level, including his most recent stint with Oklahoma State. The 6-foot-3 guard’s best season came in 2019-20, when he averaged 13.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game for Cal Baptist, while shooting 44% from three-point range and 41% from the field. He should play a pretty big role this year for the Colonials from outside on the wing alongside a group of talented guards coming from all over.
Justin Winston – Transfer from St. Bonaventure
Winston, a 6-foot-8, 220-pound forward from St. Bonaventure, comes to RMU after spending two years with the Bonnies program. Winston transferred to RMU last spring and spent the spring semester practicing with the Colonials, so he is not completely new to the system. In his freshman year at St. Bonaventure, he started 28 of 31 games, averaging 8.7 points and 3.4 rebounds per contest. Winston is a smooth forward who is confident in his touch around the basket and will not let you forget that he got a bucket on you. Very confident, and not afraid to back it up with his skill set.
What’s the Story?
The Colonials, like the other two Pittsburgh-area teams, brought in a hefty haul of talent from the portal this offseason. Due to the fact that nobody has really seen this team play together, they were recently picked to finish tenth in the conference in the preseason poll.
Starting at the guard position, Toole brought in Michael Green, Ferron Flavors, and Rasheem Dunn, three guys who have all averaged over ten points per game at the division one level in their career. Green seems to be the likely candidate to start at point guard, where he will provide speed and control for a team with a strong front court. Dunn seems to be more of a true shooting guard, with the strength to drive through the lane and the touch to shoot the mid-range with confidence. Flavors seems to be one of the best shooters on the team, simply based on past stats. If he can get back to his production levels at Cal Baptist, Flavors will be one of the most important scorers on the team. At the two, Kam Farris will likely get the nod in the starting lineup due to his familiarity with the system and his potent three-point range. He impressed PSN at practice, hitting threes from all over the court and handling the ball.
At the three/four spot, RMU has a pretty solid group headlined by Kahliel Spear and newcomers Justin Winston and Jaron Williams. Spear is a bully who will shoot from outside, drive in, and post up on smaller defenders. Perhaps his best trait is his knack for the ball, especially on the offensive boards. The newcomers Winston and Williams both looked like they belonged on the court rather than on the bench, as both have strong frames and have had success at the division one level scoring the ball. Off the bench, expect Enoch Cheeks to be one of the first Colonials to check in and use his athleticism and skill set to his advantage. Freshman Tristan Jeffries has a college-ready body, but will have to earn his minutes this year with a deep forward room. Overall, the three/four spot is one of RMU’s biggest strengths and all three of the main guys will have a chance to be among the team’s leading scorers.
Down low, at the four/five, RMU will look to Mattia Acunzo and Matt Mayers for production. Acunzo being more of a four with the ability to step out and consistently hit threes will certainly help complement Mayers’ inside presence. The JuCo transfer Mayers showed nice touch inside and blocked out well on the boards. For him, the biggest question will be whether or not he will be able to keep up with the DI bigs inside. Until Stone returns from his injury, those two will have a lot of responsibility on the inside.